Boston, Massachusetts

Even if I hadn’t heard my cousin Jamie say “This is sooooo amazing” a dozen times, I still would have been impressed. The wedding was just simply impressive. And amazing, I suppose. Really, it was the reception where I heard all the “amazing” comments — I made a few myself — but the wedding ceremony was also worthy of a superlative or two.

They had the whole Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony broken down into six pages of text in the program for us Kansas Methodists to understand the symbolism of all the different acts and songs and chants. Many of the symbolic acts, like the coronation, the placement of the rings, the walking around the “alter,” the blessings, etc, were done three times over symbolizing the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The service was done in both Greek and English, the official switching between the two quickly and often. In all, the service lasted about an hour — maybe a little longer — but it was kept pretty interesting so it didn’t get fatiguing. The only problem was that there were twelve groomsmen and twelve bridesmaids so the front of the church was packed and it was difficult to see what was going on. Through the slow parts, and between the sitting down and standing up, I was kept occupied by making eye contact with a serious hottie near the back. She had dirty blonde hair and a pink dress, visible tan lines, a cute petite face and wide smile like Victoria Beckham. I couldn’t really age her by looks, but I’m sure she was probably older than me. Later, at the reception, cousins Jamie and Erica said she would be bad news — they thought she looked a little too “bad” for me, but whatever. The point is, she made eye contact, long and unbroken, and I became instantly smitten, like I so easily and often do.

The church cleared out quickly for the newlyweds to make their way to their awaiting Bentley and two stretch-limousines. The reception was held at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Massachusetts, about 20 miles north of Boston. It was pretty easy drive, but we managed to make a few bad turns (this area is terrible to drive in with the non-straight, one-way, unmarked streets and highways; it’s frustrating, because I’m supposed to be good at navigating and I’ve made some bad mistakes in the past couple days). But we made it perfectly on time, early even.

We were kindly greeted at the door, shown into the hall with enormous chandeliers; huge stunning arrangements of flowers on every table; a large swan-shaped ice sculpture; two open bars (open meaning “paid for”); and more silverware and glasses at my seat than I knew what to do with. For example, we each had a champagne flute, water glass, wine glass, coffee cup, champagne glass from the entrance, and whatever glasses we got at the bar (and I always had a good supply).

The food: We were served very professionally and promptly — very impressive for a crowd of our size and a meal of its caliber. They first brought out dinner rolls, which they recommended eating with the Greek salad dressing already on the table. Then came the pasta course of penne in a marinara and meatball sauce. Next was the Greek salad of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, calamata olives, salad peppers, feta cheese, and cucumbers. Soon after they had taken away our salad plates, they brought out full plates of stuffed shrimp (huge and tasty shrimp, the best); large filets of some kind — probably tenderloin or mignon or prime rib, I’m not sure, at least 12 oz. a piece; a baked potato; and a vegetable medley with the best broccoli I’ve ever had. The meal was fantastic, “amazing.” They announced that they’d put out desserts of all kinds around the ice sculpture, and also set up a cappuccino bar as well. Whoa.

The dancing started almost immediately after the first person finished eating. Live music, mostly of a Greek sound, was played throughout the meal and the rest of the night, up until about 10 when the DJ took over. The band was “amazing.” I got in on some of the dancing, not much, but more than none, which I’m used to. I had a really good time too, doing the simpler of the Greek dances. Most of the Greek dancing eventually ends up in a line, hand in hand, two-stepping around in a circle, a spiral, a sprawling mess of arms and feet and hair. But I had a good time and was ready to keep dancing if only I knew what I was doing. And I don’t. I’m not gifted there, but I’d be willing to learn, such that I could learn in a safe, non-embarrassing manner. Oh well.

Like I said, I also had plenty to drink: a White Russian; about 3/4 of my table’s bottle of red wine; two Midori sours; a full glass of Ouzo, the anise (black licorice) flavored Greek potable; and some champagne on several toasting occasions. I got pretty liquored up, I suppose. At one point, I would have easily admitted to being drunk, but it wasn’t bad, obvious. I sobered up pretty quickly too, because I managed driving friends of the groom’s parents, a couple my parents’ age, back to their hotel in Harvard, and then my parents to our hotel, and then out to the airport to drop off the rental car. So I wasn’t so bad. Really, I was just using the alcohol to loosen my inhibitions against dancing, which never ever seems to work. It may have a little bit tonight, but I still wasn’t cutting the rug or whatever dancers say these days. Ugh. I also was preparing to talk to the gorgeous “bad” girl too, but by the time I was ready (and eager) to talk to her, I couldn’t find her and never saw her again. Ever. Wah.

I didn’t get a chance to try dessert. I wasn’t ever hungry again. I did nibble on a soft, powdered-sugar coated something — something Greek-ish I suppose — and it was delicious. It made me wish I had room for more. It would have been “amazing.”

This will sure be one of the incredible experiences I’ll mark with a bullet in my final analysis of the trip: my real life Big Fat Greek Wedding in Boston. Or more specifically, how I Greek-danced in a beautiful yacht club with 50 others — a remarkable experience I won’t soon forget.

Well, it’s now after 3:30 a.m. and I’m less worried about tomorrow than I thought I would be. Even though I’ll be sad to see my family leave, it’ll simplify things a lot, I think. It’ll make some things more difficult, sure, like solving this whole dead-car fiasco, but I’ll manage just fine I think. I’ll stay in Boston another day, maybe over the river near Harvard tomorrow night, so my schedule will be off starting tomorrow. Depending on whatever news I get from the Volkswagen people who work on my car (and that news could come as early as tomorrow or as late as when hell freezes over), I’ll know better about what I’m going to have to do to my schedule to be back in Kansas on time. But I’m leaving those detailed decisions for a much later date.

So. In the morning, and throughout the day, I’ll be saying “goodbye” to my family (and this wonderful hotel), working out the minutia of my car problems, and finding a place to stay in Boston for at least another night. I’m ready to see the city on my own, in my own style. And I’ll get my chance.

I didn’t take photos during the reception, even though there were a few times I wish I had. Tony took lots of pictures and I intend on getting them from him to post, so hopefully there will be more pictures soon.



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